Month: February 2016

Writing Challenge Week 5: Write a Letter to Anybody

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5. write a letter to anybody

Dear Sully,

You are my little boy. You are an epic love, and I never knew my heart could hold what it does for you. You’ve taught me to thrive in the simplicity of life. You’ve taught me patience as you present me with new challenges each and every day. You’ve taught me the importance of validation and expression, and as a result, I can slow down and see people for who they are and how they feel. I’m no longer rushing through life, no longer trying to accomplish the next big goal as quickly as I can, and I now enjoy the small moments that life has to offer. Ultimately, my life is better … all because of you.

I didn’t even know if I wanted children once upon a time. I wasn’t sure I could handle the demands that a baby would place on me. I’m an introvert. I like my alone time and I need my space. I love my sleep, and the quiet is my happy place. You stirred all that up, and I’ll admit, it was hard at first. I didn’t know what I was doing. I wondered what I had gotten myself into, mostly because I was terrified and I didn’t want to screw it up. But you were patient with me. You let me make mistakes and you gave me chance after chance after chance to get it right.

Over two years later, I’d like to think that I’ve got it somewhat figured out now. I won’t get it right all the time, but I want you to know that I’ll always try. I’ll always strive to do my best by you, and I hope you’ll never doubt my love. We’ve had bad days. We’ve had days where we struggle to communicate, where we butt heads and don’t see eye to eye. But the good days full of giggles, snuggles, and hugs far outweigh those others, and I promise I’ll do what I can to make sure it stays that way.

We’ll still argue, I’m sure. You won’t like what I have to say sometimes, but that’s okay. I’m prepared for that because I want you to grow up to be a good man. I want you to realize that although you are our whole world, the whole world does not revolve around you. I want you to be humble and know how to work hard. I hope to teach you empathy and compassion, logic and respect. I hope you’ll learn sacrifice and selflessness, but I also hope you’ll know when to walk away and take care of yourself. Essentially, I hope to teach you to maintain balance in your life, and that you’ll be better, do better than your parents. I hope to teach you at least half as much as you’ve taught me.

I love you, munchkin.

Love,

Mom

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Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

20958632Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous
they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Goodreads/Amazon

Rating: 2/5 Stars

The synopsis of The Darkest Part of the Forest is epic. It hints at a creepy and magical world and effects a level of excitement that makes you clear your entire day for reading, feeding your family be damned. But as I began turning the pages, fully expecting to be sucked in, I  felt my attention swaying as the story fell short over and over again.

I really dislike giving low ratings, but I can’t go any higher than two stars for TDPotF and here’s why:

  1. The world building was mediocre. I couldn’t envision the town or even the fairy forest, and the tension we were supposed to feel between the two worlds fell flat. Even the legend of the prince and the shock of his waking – which I guess was supposed to be a major part of the story? – didn’t feel like a big deal.
  2. The characters were underdeveloped and inconsistent. I couldn’t connect with any of them, and I’m kinda depressed about it because there was so much potential for them to be so much more than they were. {ahem, Jack! I mean… the guy could have his own novel.} What little personality they had didn’t quite fit with their actions, making the believability nil. There was no development in the relationships, and insta-love without any real foundation is always boring.
  3. The weird kissing thing. We were given a half-assed reason as to why Hazel felt the need to kiss every boy she saw, but I’m still not convinced that it was good enough. It was just kinda weird and never came in to play. She was supposed to be liked and admired by all, but I didn’t see what was so awe-inspiring about her. She was a cookie-cutter character with none of the flare we were told she was supposed to have.
  4. The plot was rushed. All the action and twists felt crammed in to too few pages, and the direness of the situation didn’t feel real. I guess without that essential connection to the characters, I couldn’t really care about what happened to them.

 

However, the writing style kept me intrigued and turning the pages, allowing me to see why Holly Black is a bestselling author. Maybe this particular novel was just rushed through to meet a deadline. Maybe she was in a slump. I don’t know what happened, but it needed a few more runs through the editing process or maybe a hundred more pages. There was such potential here, and it saddens me to say that it didn’t live up to the hype.

Great idea; poor execution.

This is the first book of Black’s I’ve read, so I won’t give up yet. I’ve heard great things about her books and will definitely be giving them another shot.

Cheers!

Writing Challenge Week 4: Rant About Anything

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4. rant about anything

 

To rant is to complain vehemently and aggressively about something. To go off on a tangent. To let your emotions get a hold of you and have diarrhea of the mouth.

I guess I’ve come to a point in my life when I don’t really have anything to complain about. It may sound like false humility and annoying positivity, but it’s true. I have my observations, don’t get me wrong, but I try not to take it all too personally anymore.

I’m about to hit my 29th birthday, and while I’m under no delusion that I’ve got it all figured out, I don’t feel like I’m scrambling. I’ve learned to let things go and, most importantly, I’ve come to terms with the fact that my opinion, no matter how heartfelt, is mostly insignificant in this world. Of course, my thoughts are important to me and to those that love me, but in the big scheme of things, it’s a pretty small thing. I’m one person in a world of billions and expecting undivided attention is, frankly, narcissistic. With that being said, I also believe that one person does have the ability to affect everyone else. Whether it be by words or actions, people can inflict pain, encourage hope, build love, stir anger, or instill excitement.

It’s a strange balance to keep: believing we are both insignificant and significant. They each have their time and place. On the one hand, the world doesn’t revolve around you; on the other hand, you have the power to effect change. I’ve come to determine that life is a balancing act and full of contradictions.

I’m quite certain that I haven’t made much of an impact in the world as a whole. All I can do is focus on those close to me, and in doing so, I believe I’ve made a positive difference there. That’s all we can all hope for really, but for those of us with big dreams, we still strive for more.

The majority of people live under the idea that “it can’t happen to me.” They don’t change the batteries in their fire alarms because they doubt a fire will ever start in their home. They don’t alter their diet and lifestyle under doctor’s orders because they don’t believe they could ever have a heart attack. “That happens to other people.” People see themselves as invincible, as beyond the scope of tragedy, but the truth is that these things have to happen to someone. Why not you?

On the other side of the same coin, I believe if tragedies can happen to anyone, so can success. When it comes to having big dreams, we are always told of the obstacles we’ll face. We are always told to expect heartbreak and hardship and that success is unlikely if not impossible. What I’ve come to learn is that success is always within reach of those who keep trying to better themselves, who keep pushing and keep working, who don’t make excuses. If you give in to the negativity, then those dreams are most certainly never going to come to fruition. Success has to happen to someone. Why not you?

I think the point I’m trying to make is that having a sense of humility is just as important as having ambition. Prepare for the worst, but believe in the best. If I’ve learned anything in my observations of those I look up to, it’s that they follow a path of hard work and accomplishment while believing in compassion and consideration for others.

I’m not telling you how to live your life. This post is simply a compilation of my observations and the conclusions I’ve come to as to how I want to live my life. The world is full of extremes, and I want to settle somewhere right in the middle.

Cheers!

 

 

Teaser Tuesday

20958632Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The
faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Goodreads/Amazon

“They’d come for the first time two months before, on a full moon. Three of them, dressed in silvery gray, on three horses — one black, one white, and the third red.”

 

Alright, so even I’m curious about this teaser. I opened to a random page and picked the first two sentences my eyes came upon, so I have no idea what this little excerpt is referring to. The Darkest Part of the Forest has been filled with magic and monsters so far, so I can only imagine…

Cheers!